Last week, I heard about a new place opening in the old Pappa La Rosa’s Flying Pizza location, next to Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center. Jambones Grill Pub’s Facebook page advertised the restaurant’s opening on June 7. So, the family headed over there for dinner. While there were definitely some rough edges that needed smoothing out on the first day, we had a good meal.
If you remember Pappa La Rosa’s Flying Pizza, you may be surprised when you walk into Jambones. The interior is darker, with a slightly more upscale feel. But you are still undeniably right next to the ice skating rink, which can still be seen through the interior windows. The dining room is smaller — one portion has been closed off for the time being, but it looks like it will eventually be renovated and opened up. There is also a patio dining area with some giant ceiling fans to move the air around.
As with Pappa La Rosa, the restaurant can be accessed from the parking lot or from inside the skating rink.
As you might expect, things were a little chaotic on the first day Jambones was open. When we walked in, someone noted the slightly lost and confused look on our faces and helped us out by handing us a paper menu and telling us we could order at the counter. We wanted to take some time to peruse the menu, so we found a table, looked over the menu, and chose our meal before sending my husband to the counter to order. After you place your order at the counter and pay, you are given a number placard to place on your table, and your food will be brought to you when it is ready. Soft drinks are self-serve fountain drinks, but alcoholic beverages are also available.
The menu has an interesting variety of choices. Appetizers include Korean BBQ chicken wings, samosas, panko-breaded mozzarella sticks, and spring rolls. Main dishes include pizzas, salads, beef or turkey burgers stuffed with your choice of cheese, and several different sandwiches. The sandwiches run the gamut from chicken salad to panko-crusted fish with Sriracha mayo and spinach pesto grilled cheese. There is also a kids menu, featuring familiar favorites like chicken tenders, quesadillas, mac & cheese, corn dogs, and cheese pizza. Kids’ meals include fries and a small drink.
We wanted to try a variety of different things, so we ended up with a lot of food! We started with the panko breaded mozzarella sticks, which were served with a choice of marinara or Jambones’ white sauce. We actually tried both sauces, and both were good. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the flavor of the white sauce, so when the owner, Jeff, came to talk with us, I asked him what was in it. He told me it has a ranch dressing base, but it contains yogurt and some other yummy stuff. The cheese sticks themselves were big and thick, and we quickly devoured the entire order.
Kid #1 ordered a burger (big surprise), but he didn’t want any cheese stuffed inside it. He liked it. The patty was well seasoned and flavorful, though it was a little thinner than I typically prefer. I would like to come back and try a goat cheese stuffed burger. I suspect that the stuffed burgers must be thicker. The fries were also good, just thick enough and crisp on the outside.
Kid #2 ordered the kids’ chicken tenders meal. This was probably the biggest disappointment of the whole evening. The chicken was clearly fresh and the tenders were homemade, but the breading was soggy and not too flavorful.
I tried the Italian sandwich, consisting of grilled chicken, salami and provolone on ciabatta bread with a caramelized onion relish. It came with a choice of a cup of soup or two sides. When we came in, Jeff had told me that they had just made a batch of chicken noodle soup from a family recipe. Even though it was 95 degrees outside, that sounded too good to pass up! The soup was good and the “cup” was substantial. Jambones prides itself on making all of the food from scratch. That includes the noodles for the chicken noodle soup. The soup was great — just broth, chicken and noodles. Sometimes chicken noodle soup can be overly salty, but this one was not. The sandwich was served panini style, so it was hot. The ciabatta was nice and crispy on the outside, and the provolone was all melty and good. The chicken breast was reasonably thick and was cooked perfectly so that it was still nice and juicy. The salami added just a little spice and the caramelized onions added just a little sweetness. I enjoyed my meal quite a bit.
My husband ordered a pepperoni and sausage pizza (and a to go box!). The pizzas are 16″, so we knew there was no way he’d finish it on his own. The crust is thicker than our favorite pizzeria, Grimaldi’s, and a bit doughier. The pizza was good; not our favorite, but definitely good enough to land a spot on the repeat playlist.
Just as we were all declaring that we were stuffed, Jeff came out with an order of cheese quesadillas and offered it to us for free. It turns out that they were having some issues with the computer system they were using to input the food orders, and these quesadillas had been ordered far earlier in the evening, but had just now shown up in the queue. Even though our tummies were bursting, we decided that loyal Fort Bend Food Blog readers needed to know about these quesadillas, so we graciously accepted them.
I actually liked these a lot. The tortillas were crispy on the outside, but the cheese inside was ooey, gooey good. The quesadillas are a kids meal, so they were served with fries, but this would actually also make a good appetizer to share.
We visited Jambones on the first night of its soft opening, so things didn’t always go smoothly, nor did we expect them to. Our meals came out from the kitchen one by one, rather than all at the same time, with the pizza being last (if you don’t count the extra quesadillas). When we asked for a to go box for our pizza, they brought us a box much smaller than the 16″ pizzas that were on the menu. My husband asked if smaller size pizzas were available, and the girl who brought the box didn’t know.
Despite some confusion and the need for some additional staff training, everyone there was very friendly and responsive to our requests and questions. For the most part, we enjoyed the food. I noticed on Jambones’ Facebook page that the restaurant is now officially open. As I mentioned, I’d like to go back and try one of the cheese-stuffed burgers. I think this restaurant is a good addition and serves just the right kind of fare for the skating rink — casual and accessible, but with some interesting twists that save it from being boring burgers/pizza/fast food. It’s a good option if your dining party can’t all agree on what they want because there is a huge variety of choices on the menu.
I also learned that Jeff is the owner of Berryhill Baja Grill in Sugar Land, so he’s not new to the restaurant scene. I’m confident that Jambones will get the kinks worked out and that things will continue to improve.
Let me know if you’ve tried Jambones or if you plan to go check it out!